Thinking back on my teenage years, I cringe when I think about how much of a slave to the sun I was. I spent every summer at the beach laying out, oftentimes with no sunscreen, and visited a tanning booth a handful of times (to be fair, there is zero sun in Minnesota in the dead of winter, and everyone looks better with a little bit of color, right?) Again, I cringe – my poor skin. Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, things are a little different to say the least. Suddenly I find myself focusing on every bump on my skin and staying up all night googling “what age to begin using Retinol”.
Skincare is just so personal. I love talking skin and makeup products with my girlfriends, but what I’ve found is that everyone’s skin tone and texture is so different and what works for your best friend really might not work for you at all. That being said, I still love reading about skincare regimes and have picked up a few tips and product recommendations over the years that have actually stuck.
I love trying new products and the idea of a comprehensive skincare routine, but ultimately I’m always rushing out of the house in the morning or struggling to just remove my makeup and wash my face some nights. So, what actually ends up happening is something like this:
- Cleanser – I’ve been using Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser for a couple of years now and it is the only product that I have multiple of (one in my gym bag, one for traveling, one for the bathroom). I’m not sure if this is the best cleanser for all needs, but I enjoy the smell and find that it is super gentle while removing most of my makeup easily. I remove the rest of my makeup with coconut oil.
- Toner – after many years of trying different toners and speaking to estheticians, I still do not really understand what this does. To be honest, I’m not sure I can tell a difference in my skin from using toner either. Lately I’ve been using one from Nars, but it’s almost empty and I’m not sure what I’ll do after.
- Serum – Vitamin C is great for your skin – it’s an antioxidant that wards off free radical damage (read: helps prevent aging). I use Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum and while it seems to give my skin an immediate glow, I am crossing my fingers that its benefits will be felt (and seen) years down the line.
- Moisturizer – I’ve been reading about Korean skincare and their 10 step skincare routine seriously amazes me (read more about it here). Their skin is seriously amazing and dewy, I can only dream that one day attain it myself, perhaps with more discipline. For now, I’m easing into it by using some Korean products. I really like this moisturizer from Belif – if you have really dry skin like me, I highly recommend. Before this moisturizer I went through 3 containers of Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Cream which I loved as well (great for snowy winters).
- Sunscreen – this is one that I do every. single. day. Find a great sunscreen that you use only on your face and neck – I love this one by Kiehl’s, it’s SPF 50, super sheer, and a bottle lasts forever (unless you’re like me and spill half a bottle in your purse).
It sounds a little more impressive than it is when it’s all written down, but I often skip the toner and serum because I get lazy. I try not to hoard too many skincare products at once because 1. I like consistency and 2. they often go bad before I can use them up. So that’s the daily routine, when I have a little extra time and patience I add:
- Eye Cream – I really should be using this more frequently, since the skin around your eyes is so delicate and prone to wrinkles. I picked up Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado – it’s very rich which I love, it feels more substantial that way.
- Masks – I love sheet masks, if for nothing else the amusement I get from startling my boyfriend when I walk out of the bathroom. I’ve been experimenting with different ones and bought the SK-II masks that everyone raves about – they make my skin a little more glow-y and plump, but to be honest I was really expecting more. I love Lush Masks as well, just make sure you keep them in a refrigerator and use within a week because they do expire. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is amazing for cleaning your pores, I personally found it a little drying but totally recommend if you have oilier skin or just want a deep cleaning – you cannot beat it for the price!
- Water – Hydration is key. I drink my weight in ounces every day and it is beneficial on so many levels, but I really do see a difference in my skin when I am well hydrated.
- Sleep – so cliche but it’s true, your skin will glow if you get enough sleep on a consistent basis (7-8 hours is ideal).
Nothing crazy (yet), although it continues to change over the years and sometimes even seasonally. Could probably use a good facial more often, but I feel like there are already enough beauty appointments to keep up with – the joys of being a girl! Am I missing anything? Is the 10 step skincare routine really worth it? Would love to hear your thoughts and recs!